At least once a month the conversation about ideal body weight comes up. It's always an interesting conversation. The conversation tends to start off like this..."I don't really look at weight, but Jason, if you had to say, what would you say is the ideal body weight for me?" Before we start, let's make some observations:

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1) Weigh yourself in the morning.

2) Weigh yourself after breakfast.

3) Weigh yourself before you go potty.

4) Weigh yourself after you go potty.

5) Weigh yourself before you go to bed.

6) Repeat the process for one week.

Take notes on the range of numbers you may see. Weight can vary from 5-10lbs over the course of 1 day. There are a lot of variables that play a factor in determining a weight that you can maintain. ie Activity level, hydration, outside temperature, diet, sodium intake, etc.

When attempting to determine an "ideal body weight," consider the following...

1) How long will it take to meet the desired body weight?

Understand, losing weight doesn't automatically make you healthier than you are now. Also understand, that just because you can lose a lot of weight fast doesn't mean you should do it that way. Determine a length of time where you can have an average weight loss of 2-4lbs per week. It may be more, it may be less. Remember, we're talking about averages.

2) What behavior changes need to happen?

Behavior changes are one of the most important part of finding an "ideal body weight." If we lose weight, but don't address the behavior issues that put us in our unwanted state, we'll just go right back to our starting point or even further past it.

3) Is the goal sustainable?

When losing weight, there are goals that are too big. Weight loss should not be the ultimate goal. The body is not designed to continuously lose weight. Onceyou reach your goal, you need to determine if you can maintain the goal weight and a functioning body. You should have sustainable energy. Health metrics should continue to improve.

4) Is weight an appropriate measure for my health?

Weight loss has become an umbrella term for becoming healthy and active. Weight loss is not synonymous with healthy and active. Weight loss may not be the most appropriate measure of your success. Performance, body fat percentage and tracking consistency are other ways to determine success.

To answer the question: What is your ideal body weight?

Your ideal body weight is the body weight and condition that allows your body to function the most efficiently. It's not always a specific number. If you find a number, that number may change. When determining a weight loss goal, make sure you have a plan and allow yourself space to make adjustments as you progress.